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Single-blind placebo washout periods before randomisation enable the elimination of the psychotropic agents previously received. They subdue carryover effects which could be achieved without using a placebo. Washout periods also purport to identify and eliminate the placebo responders. Trivedi et al. performed a meta-analysis which included 101 studies. They demonstrated that placebo washout periods do not reduce the response rate in the placebo group and do not increase the difference between the placebo and the treated group. This held true for all the different antidepressant classes. In another study, Greenberg et al. analysed 28 antidepressant controlled trials published between 1983 and 1992 and found no difference between trials with or without a placebo washout period in terms of response rate in either the placebo or the treated group. Therefore, placebo washout periods, although appealing and widely used, may not reduce the number of patients who respond to placebo. Besides, the patients who respond during the washout period have very diverse outcomes after three months. This subgroup is likely to be heterogeneous and should be better studied. Some authors have stated that washout periods may bring in confounding effects such as lowering the observed difference between the treated and placebo group. Their explanation was that response to placebo is not a stable characteristic and that responding to placebo during the washout period may subsequently lower the level of placebo-induced improvement. It would also be cumbersome if washout periods covered the problems related to the placebo and blindness issues, which are often neglected. Finally, it appears necessary to further assess the usefulness of single-blind washout periods.
This case-control study found an association between Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and a single nucleotide polymorphism (intronic rs2072621) of the gene encoding GPR50 (an orphan member of the G protein-coupled melatonin receptor subfamily) in females. This may represent a gender-specific risk factor and a molecular link between melatonin and SAD.
A comprehension of the maritime sector is central to an understanding of Norwegian economic development and cultural identity during the last two centuries. Indeed, it is difficult to find any other nation where maritime activity has consistently played a more important role since the early nineteenth century. But the establishment of maritime history as a scholarly discipline in this country has been very long in the making. Until recently, few professional historians ventured into the sub-discipline, and those who did for the most part only stayed in the field for a short period of time. As a result, the writing of Norwegian maritime history was for a long time left to amateurs and journalists. When Helge W. Nordvik, an outstanding exception to this generalization, surveyed the state of the field at the beginning of the 1990s, his conclusion expressed a profound ambivalence: while important progress had been made in the preceding couple of decades, Norwegian maritime history still focused on fishing and the associated spheres of whaling and sealing. Despite public fascination with the sea and most things maritime, Norwegian scholarly literature, in Nordvik's view tended “to neglect the actual operations of maritime firms and the economics and policies of maritime transport” which constitute the dominant part of the modern maritime sector.
This disjunction between the nature and importance of Norwegian maritime activity on the one hand, and the scholarly literature on the other, is now much less of a problem. Professional maritime history has developed as one of the attractive sub-disciplines in the expanding field of Norwegian economic history during the last few decades. At schools of business and economics in Oslo and Bergen, and at universities in several parts of the country, historical research has increasingly been directed towards modern economic and business activities, including those in the maritime sector. The rapid growth and regional spread of higher education, fuelled by rich oil revenues since the 1970s, is obviously among the driving forces behind this development. The relatively backward state of economic and maritime history at the outset motivated important efforts to improve our knowledge in these fields.
This book is a wide-reaching study of Norwegian maritime history and developments within the discipline. It brings together the research efforts of a University of Oslo project aiming to further understand Norwegian shipping history between 1814 and 2014, and the work of a new generation of maritime historians. Structured into three sections - global integration, political issues, and success and failure - the volume covers a broad range of maritime topics that have influenced both Norwegian economic development and Norwegian cultural identity. Through analysis it discovers that in the last few decades Norwegian shipping has been plagued by multiple troubles, whilst simultaneously becoming less crucial to the Norwegian economy in favour of offshore petroleum production. However, it reiterates the historical importance of shipping to the economic development of Norway, and asserts that historians have begun to treat it as the centre from which other industries grew.
Micro-X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) is a rapidly evolving analytical technique which allows visualising the trace level metal distributions within a specimen in an essentially nondestructive manner. At second generation synchrotron radiation sources, detection limits at the sub-parts per million level can be obtained with micrometer resolution, while at third generation sources the spatial resolution can be better than 100 nm. Consequently, the analysis of metals within biological systems using micro- and nano-X-ray fluorescence imaging is a quickly developing field of research. Since X-ray fluorescence is a scanning technique, the elemental distribution within the sample should not change during analysis. Biological samples pose challenges in this context due to their high water content. A dehydration procedure is commonly used for sample preparation enabling an analysis of the sample under ambient temperature conditions. Unfortunately, a potential change in elemental redistribution during the sample preparation is difficult to verify experimentally and therefore cannot be excluded completely. Creating a cryogenic sample environment allowing an analysis of the sample under cryogenic condition is an attractive alternative but not available on a routine basis. In this article, we make a comparison between the elemental distributions obtained by micro-SR-XRF within a chemically fixed and a cryogenically frozen Daphnia magna, a model organism to study the environmental impact of metals. In what follows, we explore the potential of a dual detector setup for investigating a full ecotoxicological experiment. Next to conventional 2D analysis, dual detector X-ray fluorescence cryotomography is illustrated and the potential of its coupling with laboratory absorption micro-CT for investigating the tissue-specific elemental distributions within this model organism is highlighted.
This book compiles seven essays concerning changes to merchant shipping over the hundred and fifty years between 1850 and 2000, and spanning a range of countries, with particular focus on Norway, Greece, Japan, and England. The essays are linked by the theme of change: from traditional to modern shipping; in fluctuating cargo demands; from sail to steam; wood to iron; in improvements in communication technologies; in political natures and affiliations; in seafaring skillsets; in the advent of containerisation and advent of globalisation. The overall aim is to construct a solid international context for the merchant shipping industry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - primarily to aid a major Norwegian deep-sea merchant marine project. The book contains an introduction that sets out these aims, and seven essays by maritime historians which form part of the international contextual whole, though all can be approached individually.
Almost five centuries ago, the great Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli observed that “one change always leaves the way prepared for the introduction of another.” Machiavelli, of course, was writing about political transformations, and there is no evidence in any of his works that he ever turned his inquisitive mind to the topic of waterborne transport. Nonetheless, his insight that one shift leads ineluctably to even greater changes certainly is an apt way to think about the evolution of merchant shipping since the mid-nineteenth century.
Few observers of the marine transportation sector in the middle of the nineteenth century could possibly have been prepared for the exponential growth in the rate of change that reconfigured merchant shipping over the next 150 years. The repeal of the British Navigation Acts - a reflection of the replacement of the doctrine of mercantilism by a movement toward free trade - combined with a surge of technological innovation to lay the groundwork for a total transformation of the world economy and international trade. The merchant marine was at the heart of this process of globalization.
Between 1850 and 2000 virtually everything about the shipping sector was altered beyond virtually beyond recognition. In the middle of the nineteenth century the vast bulk of deep-sea trade was carried in wooden vessels propelled by the wind. Although ships and shipping had changed a great deal since the beginnings of the industrial revolution, the demand for reliable carrying capacity after 1850 spurred a veritable revolution. Wood was soon superseded by iron and steel, and improvements in boiler and engine technology led first to the dominance of steam by the 1880s and by the Second World War to the triumph of turbines and motor ships. Vessels became ever larger, more specialized and, for a time at least, faster. Cargo-handling was improved through the increasing use of mechanical devices both on ships and in ports, and the time required to load and discharge goods plummeted. After 1945 the introduction of giant tankers and a drive towards intermodalism culminated in the modern container vessel and a new emphasis on logistics which totally transformed the maritime sector.